The Twelfth Dawn (Old 505 Theatre)

twelfthdawnVenue: Old 505 Theatre (Surry Hills NSW), Jul 3 – 28, 2013
Devised and Performed by: Kerri Glasscock, Gareth Boylan, Michael Pigott

Theatre review
This original, unorthodox work tells a story to your heart first, before your brain is allowed to discover the logic behind the emotions. It is at times a dance performance, sometimes a surrealist exploration, and on occasion naturalism sets in when you least expect, but through some unfathomable genius, all these forms are blended together seamlessly. The Twelfth Dawn takes its audience on a journey of the senses and emotions, but removes the reliance on conventional, narrative driven storytelling. A key to the effectiveness of the work, is the empathy its players are able to elicit from the audience in spite of the lack of a story. It is a very pleasant surprise that experimental theatre can look so real and feel so emotional. Within this realm of avant-gardism, all three artists are of the highest calibre.

Michael Pigott creates a character palpable in its authenticity, relying on his extraordinary physical dexterity as well as restrained but precise facial expressions. Kerri Glasscock’s capacity at portraying intense emotions anchor the work in a place that is dark and honest. The level of fragility and vulnerability that she brings to her performance is confronting yet seductive. Gareth Boylan provides the bridge between the audience and the stage action. His timing is impeccable, jumping in and out of the world in which “the couple” inhabit, breaking tensions and moving courses.

The theatrical arts is at its best when all the actors’ facilities, beyond words and speech, are employed, and The Twelfth Dawn is a prime example of what can be achieved. It is disappointing to report that there were less than ten in the audience last night, presumably because an “important sporting event” was taking place simultaneously. It is however, incredibly fortunate that Sydney can give rise to the production and staging of a work of this quality, even if it does struggle to find a bigger audience.